A Film By The Person Who Directed "Prix De Beauté" (1930)
Herr Augusto Genina was a prolific Italian Silent film director almost from the beginning of the new invention. This gave him the opportunity to direct films of every genre, even direct the same film again ( in different years ), yet at times, his directing could be very ambivalent. Still, for any worthy silent film fan, he will always be the person who directed "Prix De Beauté" (1930), that early pseudo-talkie film starring the great actress, Frau Louise Brooks.
Although "Prix De Beaute" could be a very complicated subject in itself, this Herr Graf will try to focus his aristocratic attention on another Herr Genina's film. It happens that recently, "Addio Giovinezza!" ( Goodbye To Youth! ) (1927), was shown in the Schloss theater.
This film was a kind of initiation film; the story from a successful play by Herr Sandro Camasio und Herr Nino Oxilia ( who had directed his own film version in 1913 ). It depicts the life of young student, Herr Mario, a model son from a Turin family, who, besides his studies, from time to time will be in love with a seamstress; Frau Dorina, the daughter of his housekeeper, with all three living on a top floor of his home, separated only by a door. Such an idyllic love story will be put in peril when an idle bourgeois Fraulein appears; Frau Elena, for whom Mario is simply an enjoyable way to pass time.
So, it would seem there's nothing new under the silent film sun. Certainly, it's the same old love-triangle story about troublesome relationships, with a University, hormones, youthfulness and sexiness as its background in a somewhat tired attempt to depict again the process of maturity. Unfortunately, Herr Genina's direction fails due to his much too conventional and predictable approach of the subject.
The most interesting aspect of the film about the daily life of Frau Dorina and Herr Mario is their lodging; a credible indoor scenario in contrast with the typical dullness of the student Mario's life, as old fashioned as Herr Erasmus himself. The leading actresses, Frau Carmen Boni and Elena Sangro gave their characters personality, while Herr Walter Slezak as Mario, a mostly insensitive character, gave the three-some scenes in the film that were delightful. However, this was hardly enough for a film lacking any artistic ambition ( due probably to its dependence on the original theater play ).
And now, if you'll allow me, I must temporarily take my leave because this German Count must try to remember if he was ever a youngster?.
Herr Graf Ferdinand Von Galitzien http://ferdinandvongalitzien.blogspot.com/
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